The Interior Ministry said on June 13 that its counter-terrorism center “has thwarted an attempted terrorist act at its stage of preparation” and arrested on Thursday morning two “foreign citizens” in Tbilisi.
Two arrested men have been identified by the Interior Ministry as Mikail Kadiev and Rizvan Omarov.
A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry has declined to specify citizens of which country the two men are.
Police recovered “large amount of powerful explosive material”, electric detonators, firearm and munitions, as well as fake identification documents from a Tbilisi apartment the two men lived in, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
In a video footage released by the Interior Ministry, showing arrest of the two men, two passports of the Russian Federation are also seen. Identification data on passports are blurred on the video
“At this stage of the investigation it has been incontrovertibly established that Kadiev, has been hiding on the territory of Georgia from Interpol since 2011; he, however, used to leave the country occasionally,” the Interior Ministry said.
It said that “intensive investigative and operative-search measures are underway” to identify and arrest those who were providing support to the two detained men “implicated in plotting terrorist act.”
The Interior Ministry said that these measure were carried out both within the country and “in frames of international anti-terrorism cooperation, because an accomplice of a crime, committed by Mikail Kadiev in one of the foreign country’s territory, was arrested in one of the western European states in 2012.”
The Interior Ministry’s statement does not say anything about what the potential target of “attempted terrorist act” was.
Asked if the arrest of the two men was somehow related to a ‘jihad threat’ video, chief prosecutor, Archil Kbilashvili, told journalists on June 13: “Nothing of this kind has yet been established.”
Some details about one of the two arrested men, Mikail Kadiev, emerged later on Thursday. Georgian news agency, Information Center of Kakheti (ICK), reported that Kadiev is an insurgent from Dagestan, who went missing in Georgia in December, 2012.
Over past several months ICK had number of reports about Kadiev, who, according to this new agency, was arrested in Georgia’s Black Sea town of Batumi together with another insurgent from Dagestan on December 13, 2012. Whereabouts of Kadiev, according to these reports, however, became unclear from the moment when he and another arrested Dagestani insurgent were being escorted by the Georgian law enforcement officers from Batumi to Tbilisi; according to one version, Kadiev managed to escape, but speculation persisted that he might have been secretly extradited to Russia.
According to some reports, 30-year-old Kadiev is the same person, who is wanted by Russia in connection to a murder of a Dagestani official, Alimsoltan Alkhamatov, who was head of Khasavyurt district in Dagestan and who was gunned down in Moscow in 2009.
In June 2012 a Russian citizen, Habib Umakhanov, who was also wanted by Moscow in connection to the same murder case, was arrested in Germany from where he was extradited to Russia in November 2012. The Interior Ministry apparently makes a reference to this case when saying in its statement that Kadiev was linked to a person arrested in 2012 “in one of the western European states.”